The churches themselves seem to have abdicated their role as civilizational guides. In Italy, some 84 percent of high school students choose to receive religious instruction. Nevertheless, church attendance has collapsed among the young. Overall, weekly attendance is down to about 7 percent. That is also the case in Germany, where the churches are financed by a special tax. Like established political leaders, the churches have been more keen to accommodate the customs and sentiments of Muslim migrants than those of practicing Christians.
Muslims and other Africans had neither asked nor (with the exception of prostitutes recruited by the Mafia) been asked to come. They came through the European Union’s porous borders with neither the means nor the intention of taking part in a crumbling civilization. The people among whom the migrants live hear from their leaders—in whose midst the migrants do not live—that their concerns are evidence of racism.
This little city is gripped not by any abstract fear of terrorism but by the changes that the Muslims and the Africans are imposing on daily life. On September 24, the local news carried yet another story from the security cameras about life on the commuter rail line. A number of young Africans had boarded the train and, when the conductor demanded that they pay the fare and refused to be intimidated, they beat him senseless. The passengers waited, intimidated, until it was over.